This 2022 Fall Foliage Map Will Help You Plan Your Next Leaf-Peeping Trip

It reveals when and where you can find the most vibrant fall colors

fall foliage
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Goodbye summer, hello leaf-peeping season! One of the most anticipated times of the year, the arrival of the annual display of colorful fall foliage is the perfect time to plan a trip filled with warm sweaters, pumpkin spice, crisp air, and vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows.

But it's not always easy to know precisely when to go. This year, reports of dry conditions and unusually high temperatures suggest that finding your favorite seasonal hues may require traveling longer distances than usual. That means your perfect leaf-peeping getaway may need more extensive research than it has in previous years.

To help make things easier, the Smoky Mountain region tourism site released its annual interactive map, giving foliage enthusiasts a heads up on when they can expect to spot peak fall foliage across the United States in 2022. With just a few swipes, you can get an estimate of when specific regions will have their most vibrant foliage and when to expect the browning of past-peak conditions.

Fall Foliage

The map was put together using a variety of different data sources. Temperature and precipitation data from previous years, forecasted temperatures and precipitation for this year, and data about the types of trees found in each geographical area have all been factored into its reporting. The website also provides plenty of detail about why and how leaves change colors, including a scientific breakdown of why leaves fall in the first place.

Suppose you're planning on using the map to plan your trip. In that case, the color code breaks down as follows: green means trees have not yet started to change color, yellow means leaves are beginning to change color but are still patchy, and orange means you will find plenty of colors but not at their full peak, red means the leaves are at their full peak, and brown means leaves in the area are already past their prime.

Happy peeping!

Article Sources
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  1. CBS News. "What Does the Summer Draught Mean For Fall Foliage?" August 18, 2022.

  2. Smoky Mountains Tourism. "2022 Fall Foliage Map." Accessed Sept. 7, 2022.